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Riding Lessons [Paperback]

Sara Gruen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $13.36  
Paperback, 2004 --  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged CDN $28.32  

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"Are you ready?" says Roger as he gives me a leg up, and I laugh, because I've never been so ready in all my life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Healing Power of Horse Love May 20 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this book shortly after it was released, which was coincidentally shortly after my own beloved Dillinger, a horse I owned and raised for 18 years died. Not only was I able to relate to the very real healing magic in Annemaries relationship with her horse, I was able to further my own healing through journeying with Annemarie...and her beloved Harry....

Such a lovely, painful, healing, sad and happy story and so very well written. Kudos to you Sara Gruen!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars ok Jan. 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had a hard time with this book. It took me a long time to start to enjoy it and I did not end up finishing it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book Jan. 3 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this after reading Water for Elephants so it was a bit of a letdown. Very simple to read with not much substance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing July 19 2008
After reading "Water for Elephants" I was looking forward to reading
another book by this author but to my disappointment this book was awful.
The main character Annemarie was ridiculous, thinking of preparing a
gourmet meal when she couldn't even cook and and dying her horse with
hair dye, please!! Also I could not believe that she could not "get over"
her teenage problems with her parents and be there for her Father when he
was dying, terrible. The romance interests were lame and the ending was
predictable. Can't believe it was the same author that wrote the wonderful "Water for Elephants"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment May 19 2004
By A Customer
I bought this book strictly on the jacket synopsis. It appealed to me because I used to ride competitively and love fiction. Boy was I disappointed.
Annemarie is such a broken character that I found her unpalatable. At 38, she sneaks out of the house in the morning so she doesn't have to face the father that she knows is dying? Shallow should be this woman's middle name. It is very difficult to root for her or find satisfaction with the novel when she discovers what she thinks is contentment in the last few pages.
The equine stuff is fairly believable, although the constant references to the "stablehands" like they were second class citizens wore thin. The people that keep a barn running and successful are the people that Annemarie shuns and is revolted that her daughter associates with. I find this inconsistent with my experience.
There are several questions left unanswered (why is Dan, the veterinarian living in a condemned-sounding trailer?).
This is a book that makes you think that you, too, can be a novelist if this is where the bar is set.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Major Disappointment Jan. 12 2011
I loved "Water for Elephants" and was looking forward to another captivating read by Sara Gruen.

I was hugely disappointed to find that this reads like a drug store romance novel... I forced myself about halfway through, hoping that the narrative would at least return to the moderately compelling level of the first chapter, before giving up on "Riding Lessons" as pure drivel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and emotional story, Dec 12 2010
I had to shed a tear or two while I was reading "Riding Lessons" You wouldn't think that when by the title of the book, but whether you are a horse lover or have ridden on a horse, this story is a terrific written story.

Annmarie Zimmer, an olympic equestrienne the main character, has her career come to an abrupt halt in a tragic accident that kills her horse and leaves her seriously injured. The story picks up twenty years later; her injuries have healed, but her emotional life is in shreds. Her: her husband has left her, her father is dying, and her rebellious teenaged daughter is causing her all kinds of problems.
There are a lot of issues going on in this book besides Annemarie's messy life and since there are numerous reviews I won't go into detail. In summary, I thought it was wonderful book and I highly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars unlikable protagonist May 6 2009
I found it very difficult to feel compassion for the main character in this book. She was 37 but acted like a spoiled teenager much of the time, and expected her daughter, who was one, not to act like one. This did feel like a first novel; I expect if the author were to write it again it would be different. I too, loved Water for Elephants, and she (sara) has obviously matured as a writer. I think it important for the main character in a novel to be likable, and at least gain the readers sympathy. I felt Annemarie was just too emotionally immature to be credible, especially having undergone such a catastrophic injury and surmounted the odds to overcome that trauma,physically and emotionally. I really only decided to finish the book to see how it ended, although it was Harlequin quality writing, in my humble opinion...
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